Ramsgate Arts Barge Community Interest Company are a ‘not-for-profit’ social enterprise organisation, aiming to renovate and convert a unique 133-year old, 50-metre Dutch former cargo barge into the Ramsgate Arts Barge.

The Ramsgate Arts Barge will comprise a community art studio, an exhibition, event & performance space, restaurant & bar and top-deck biodiversity supporting seated garden, with views overlooking Ramsgate Marina.

Once operational, profits from the project will be used to provide FREE art classes, workshops and courses for children and young adults (2-18 years of age) living within the Thanet District of Kent.

The Ramsgate Arts Barge is supported by internationally acclaimed artist Sir Anish Kapoor CBE, Golden Globe actress Brenda Blethyn OBE, alongside artists Patrick Brill OBE, Kate Malone MBE, Bruce McLean, and many more. 

The Ramsgate Arts Barge is supported by Ramsgate Town Council, Thanet District Council & Kent County Council. 

For all philanthropic, grant, investment or press enquiries, please contact us via: hello@ramsgateartsbarge.org



Successfully deliver the social impact programme – FREE art classes, workshops & courses for children and young adults (2-18 years of age) living within the Thanet District.

Form educational and learning partnerships and programmes with schools & colleges across the Thanet District. 

Provide an allocation of complimentary space hire to schools, colleges, charities & not-for-profit organisations operating within Thanet. 

Create an accessible, family & LGBTQIA+ friendly inclusive community exhibition, event & performance space.

Increase community cohesion & togetherness via community led events, debates, talks and seasonal markets.

Attract internationally established artists in their field, putting Ramsgate on the map as a ‘must-visit’ destination for the arts.

Support, champion & promote local artists via art exhibitions, events & performances.

Directly create NEW jobs in the Thanet District, via new full-time, part-time and freelance positions. 

Provide permanent access to Ramsgate Harbour for the whole Thanet District community & visitor economy, for the first time.

Create a year-round visitor attraction in Ramsgate Harbour, boosting tourism to Ramsgate & stimulating the local economy. 


Sep 2019 – Vriendschap vessel arrives in Ramsgate Harbour. 

20th March 2020 – Kevin O’Connor & Natasha de Samarkandi, become Directors of Ramsgate Arts Barge Community Interest Company, with an aim to create a ‘not-for-profit’ multi-faceted arts & cultural space permanently moored in Ramsgate Harbour. 

23rd March 2020 – Just 72 hours later, the UK goes into first Covid-19 lockdown, seriously affecting the viability of the project (we continue…).  

July 2020 – Initial pre-purchase dry-dock hull survey completed at Ramsgate Slipway. 

August 2020RAB CIC purchase and secure the Vriendschap vessel as a community asset. 

October 2021 – Full planning permission approved via Thanet District Council

August 2022 – Premises licence approved by Thanet District Council

December 2022Vriendschap heads into dry-dock at Ramsgate Slipway for the 1st phase of capital works to begin (hull repair & painting).

February 2023 – Hull repair works and painting currently underway

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